August 5, 2009 Subject:
No Pigpen, but great Dark Star, The Eleven gets 11 stars!
This is a better show than the previous night.
A beautifully rendered Dark Star in a season of great Dark Stars, though cut off at the beginning. Near perfection. Dark Stars this good are rare after 1970.
There are a lot of great Eleven’s from mid-‘68 to mid-’69. This is one of them. The short jam near the beginning of the Eleven is dynamite, and the rest of it is hot and firey and perfection. The drummers are fabulous here. They, and Jerry and Phil, are all feeding off of each other. And the Eleven vocals are as perfect as Dead show vocals get. Then they change to the minor key for the transition into Death Don’t Have No Mercy, and the energy actually picks up before sliding gently into the ballad.
Jerry delivers a top-notch Death Don’t Have No Mercy. The guitar work is masterful. The vocal is full of soul.
This second set is better than that of the previous night. But as with most of the concerts of the late summer, early fall, the first set is better than the second. After a nicely done Other One, New Potato is average, but ends abruptly to go into drums. It’s jarring. It may be a splice, but it’s hard to tell. Drums is not that interesting--they were better in the Eleven. The show ends with some calming-but-interesting feedback/space.
Pigpen is missed in the second set. The Anthem of the Sun material is just better with Pig.
There are now 5 copies of this show at archive.org. All are good quality. But you can’t go wrong with a Charlie Miller version.
November 17, 2008 Subject:
Again and Again
I was perusing the Archive and spotted a show from the Avalon, I thought let's see what that was like, and I'm sitting in the library listening to it streaming over the web for free here on my Mac, and as it starts out it seems like some standard fare and after awhile I am thinking I'm gonna shut it and head out and then they get into the second round of Cryptical and it gets so intense, and I'm thinking, "what was I thinking" , standard fare? at the Avalon in 68? No, these persons were the Dead, there was no standard fare, just a mind-melting trip. I'm gonna give it only four stars because I can't download it, when I figure out how we go to six stars. peaceout